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drill baby drill

Republicans have huge generational differences when it comes to climate change beliefs

Younger Republicans are more likely to believe that human activity is a primary cause of climate change, a Pew Research Center survey found.

While older GOPers — Gen X and baby boomers — are unlikely to say that climate change is having an effect on the U.S., and are likely to support the expanded use of fossil fuels, their younger counterparts largely disagree.

Thirty-six percent of Republican millennials say the Earth is warming "mostly due to human activity," compared to 18 percent of Republicans who are baby boomer-age or older. By contrast, conservative millennials — born between 1981 and 1996 — mostly believe that the government is doing too little to protect the environment. Between 41 and 60 percent of younger Republicans would prefer more protections for air quality, animals, and bodies of water, while just between 28 and 34 percent of older Republicans want more protections.

Older Republicans also overwhelmingly favor increased coal mining and hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. Three-quarters of baby boomer Republicans say they'd like more offshore oil and gas drilling, while only 44 percent of millennial Republicans agreed.

The survey found that generational differences were negligible among Democrats, who largely agreed that more should be done to protect the environment and favored fewer fossil fuel energy sources.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted over the phone between March 27 and April 9, among 2,541 randomly selected adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.